0237 GMT January 17, 2021
In a message to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday, Rouhani expressed sympathy with Turkey after the 6.6 magnitude quake killed 28 people and injured early 900, according to IRNA.
Hours after the quake hit Turkey on Friday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a message to his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu sympathized with the Turkish people and government over the deadly earthquake.
Iran’s Red Crescent Society has also said it is ready to provide assistance for the quake-hit people of Turkey.
Rescuers raced against the clock Saturday to save people buried under rubble as hundreds spent a terrified night in tents after the powerful earthquake which also hit Greece where two teenagers died on their way home from school, Reuters reported.
In Bayrakli, Turkish families and friends looked on in agony, exhaustion and hope as workers painstakingly went through the rubble of two completely flattened buildings.
A mother and three of her children were pulled to safety on Saturday after being trapped for almost 18 hours under a building in Izmir.
Rescuers were continuing efforts to free the woman’s fourth child, as the Aegean port city’s major said around 180 people remained trapped.
“In the meantime, we are delighted to be hearing miracles happening as a result of diligent work by rescue teams,” Mayor Tunc Soyer told television channel Fox TV.
The quake has destroyed at least 20 buildings in Izmir, causing panic in the city and setting off tidal waves that slammed into coastal areas and islands.
Erdogan, speaking in a televised address, said 885 people were injured, 15 of them critically.
In Izmir, the rescue work was punctuated by frequent aftershocks, of which Turkey’s disaster agency recorded around 520.
By Saturday afternoon search operations had been completed in eight buildings and were continuing in nine others, officials said.
In a rare show of warmth between Turkey and Greece – caught up in a bitter dispute over energy exploration rights in the Eastern Mediterranean – Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, exchanged solidarity messages on Friday.
“Whatever our differences, these are times when our people need to stand together,” Mitsotakis tweeted.
Erdogan responded in a tweet: “Turkey, too, is always ready to help Greece heal its wounds. That two neighbors show solidarity in difficult times is more valuable than many things in life.”
Turkey is crossed by fault lines and is prone to earthquakes.